This was a huge protest. Not big, not middling, not “okay” but huge. Having gone on all the demos, I think I’m quite good at estimating crowd numbers. Certainly better than the selectively myopic cave fish that the Met employ to dole out figures to the ever-gullible mass-media (hello, Reuters!)
45,000? My arse. Unless we were secretly walking round the block, there were at least 175,000 of us out on Saturday, maybe even 200,000.
Put that in perspective. When I got home, the top news story was, of course, the breaking news about the terrorist boming in Qatar. Fair enough: that’s huge news. So where did the demo come? After the sports stuff about Wales? Nope. After the ganja gibbering? Nope. After the puff-piece about Abbey Road? Nope.
The demo wasn’t on the news at all. I’ve been told it had been on earlier but why it got bumped from later editions, I’ve no idea.
I can only assume that TV news thinks that a mass demonstration against the most unpopular British PM in history shortly before a predicted election is non-news. Rugby is far more important than hundreds of thousands of people marching against a war criminal.
The day went brilliantly. Me and Ele actually managed to meet with Matt, Tara, Cactus, Sean, RobLab and Keyvan. Together, we formed a Derby/Norwich antiwar grouplet. 🙂
The mood on the march was tremendously positive, no violence anywhere that I saw. There was a teensy bit of copper-baiting as usual but the Mets are used to doing their stone-face act so there was no trouble.
We caught the last half of the speakers at Trafalgar Square. They all spoke well but I think my favourite was Craig Murray (former Ambassador to Uzbekistan). His insight into the mentality of Blair’s regime was very revealing and disturbing.
Again, I’m happy knowing that I’ve made a difference.
But it’s not enough. I won’t be happy till the foreign troops are out of Iraq and then maybe the Iraqi people can start the process of rebuilding their country from the consequences of all that “shock and awe.”
Click here for the piccies!